Only one in three people have anti-spyware software on the computer despite many having anti-virus programs.


According to research from the Association of Payment Clearing Services (APACS), people are deleting or taking no action on phishing emails in greater numbers but one in three people have no anti-spyware software.


Figures showed that the number of people taking no action on phishing emails rose from 75 per cent in 2006 to 82 per cent last year, with credit card fraud accounting for £535.2 million last year.


APACS claims that criminals are continuing to target online banking customers through phishing and spyware scams.


Richard Brown, chief executive of financial data analyst, said: “Phishing is the curse of our modern age. Our site users are increasingly reporting more and more sophisticated email phishing scams. One of the more recent ones is the targeting of private car owners attempting to sell their vehicles through Exchange & Mart or AutoTrader – among the most popular mediums for buying and selling cars and vans and motorcycles in the UK.


“Clearly, thousands of potential sellers could be at risk from these clever scams, which appear to work in much the same way as long standing scams aimed at people selling goods on eBay. This scam works in much the same way as all classic phisher scams, whereby the criminals ‘brand' the email so as it looks as if it comes from a genuine source – in this case via E&M's site. This is now pretty much a standard phishing approach and consumers need to be constantly vigilant.”